Making your bed every morning is often associated with having your life under control.
It can make us feel organized, disciplined and tidy.
But pulling up the covers, throwing on a pretty blanket, and fluffing the pillows can actually be harmful to your health.
This may sound counterintuitive, but several studies suggest that making your bed as soon as you wake up puts some people at risk of serious illness.
According to US research, made beds can be a breeding ground for house dust mites, which can trigger asthma and allergy attacks.
That’s because the pesky little critters thrive in warm, humid climates – just like in your bed when you wake up.
And with temperatures in the UK reaching 32°C this week, airing out the bed is more important than usual.
To avoid an infestation, Martin Seeley, sleep expert at MattressNextDay, recommends that people not make their bed within the first 30 minutes of getting up.
He said: “Leaving your bedding unmade for a while exposes it to natural sunlight.”
“Natural sunlight can help prevent the accumulation of dust mites and has disinfectant properties that can kill some bacteria and mites, further reducing potential health risks.”
Studies suggest that around 6.7 million people in the UK are allergic to dust mites.
If you are one of these unlucky people, you may notice symptoms such as a runny nose, sneezing, coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.
The only way to determine whether you have an allergy is to ask your GP to refer you for a skin prick or blood test.
If you have asthma and are allergic to dust mites, they can trigger an asthma attack, according to the charity Asthma and Lung UK.
How to get rid of dust mites in your home
EVERYONE has dust mites in their home.
It’s impossible to get rid of all dust mites, but there are things you can do to keep your home as clean as possible and eliminate some of them.
- Use anti-allergic pillows, duvets and mattress covers
- Wash all bedding and toys once a week at 60°C or more to kill mites
- If possible, install a wooden or laminate floor instead of carpet
- Instead of curtains, install blinds that can be easily wiped clean.
Source: Asthma and Lung UK